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From frequent hurricanes to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in coastal Louisiana: the impact of regulatory change

So-Min Cheong, University of Kansas, Department of Geography


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The issue of whether adaptations to past disasters can impede adaptation to new disasters of a different type or intensity will be analyzed by examining the transition from frequent hurricanes to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in coastal Louisiana. In particular, the effects of changed regulatory structures from the Stafford Act to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are investigated. The article describes how the federal, state, and local governments adjust. In addition, it illustrates the shifting focus on the environment with the activation of the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Water Act. It wraps up with a discussion of the uncertainty that is pervasive in the case of the oil spill derived from changed regulations and the novelty of the disaster.

Key words

disaster response; government; hurricanes; oil spill; regulation

Copyright © 2014 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087